©Photographe|PIerre VINCENT

The Baths at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

Spiritual journey at the sanctuary

Baths, taps, holy water… Along with the Grotto rock and candlelight, water is one of the main symbols of the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Lourdes. But all this can be a little confusing to our visitors, pilgrims, tourists… Do people really bathe here? But first, what’s all this about water ?

Lourdes water

An essential element

It all began with an apparition witnessed by young Bernadette Soubirous. After the first apparition on 11 February 1858, several more followed. The ninth, on 25 February 1858, marked a turning point: a few hundred people went with the “seer” to the grotto on that morning. As they looked on in amazement, thinking her mad, the young girl began to scrape the muddy soil in the depths of the grotto, then scooped up the resulting mixture of water and mud with her hands, and drank it. She also washed her face with it. “Go and drink from the spring and wash yourself there” were the instructions given by the Lady and heard by Bernadette alone. After this discovery, people came to the spring to drink the water and splash it on their faces. The first miraculous healings occurred in the days that followed. The Lourdes spring became a place of pilgrimage in itself and offered new hope for millions of sick people worldwide.


The act of drinking water is one of the highlights of the pilgrim’s journey to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. The volunteers of the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes welcome you and guide you through this important moment linked to the ninth apparition: “Go and drink and wash at the fountain”. A unique moment that we invite you to experience during your visit to Lourdes.

The baths

Le geste de l'eau au sanctuaire
Le geste de l'eau au sanctuaire
Le geste de l'eau au sanctuaire
Useful info

Plan your visit

The Sanctuary Baths are located within the Sanctuary at the following address:

Avenue Mgr Théas
Sanctuaire ND de Lourdes

The nearest free car parks are the one at the top of Boulevard de la Grotte, near Boulevard du Lapacca, and the Esplanade du Paradis car park.

By train
If you are coming by train, Lourdes station is about 2 kilometres away from the Sanctuary.

By bus
Take the L4 or L5 bus

Bus route map


Visit the sanctuary

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes covers an area of 52 hectares. Within the Domain, you will find 22 places of worship. Some of these gathering places really must be seen if you want to make the most of your visit. From the Massabielle Grotto to the Church of St. Bernadette through the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, set forth to discover the Sanctuary and its history.